I covered the Latin Grammy Awards twice for VivirLatino. Once when they were in New York City and I was beside myself for being given official credentials (and honor I am no longer impressed by), and once when they were in Las Vegas where I went to every free event because I made myself broke just getting there. These were the Latin Grammy Awards, the equivalent of Latino History Month, a segregated space completely controlled by the major music labels and the Spanish language media. Media like me were essentially locked into a media room, watching the event on television, interrupted constantly by a parade of winners and hosts we could yell questions at but not video tape (in Vegas at one point a Univision employee actually stepped in front of my camera to block my taping). I’ll admit that at first I was star struck. As an up and coming blogger I liked seeing Shakira, Ricky Martin, and Calle 13 up close and personal. I am particularly struck by the memory of Gustavo Cerati, long before he became ill.
But again those were the Latin Grammy Awards not the main event Grammy Awards being held tonight in Los Angeles and yet there is much talk and protest about the role of artists of color and exclusion.
With the sudden, untimely, and unexpected death of Whitney Houston, there is remembrance but also reflection on how the music industry, fed by the talents of many people of color, but manipulated mostly by white run music moguls, only allowed so many women of color success stories at a time and within a very specific imagined framework. Whitney was every woman, but as soon as pressure and the temptations that come with it unleashed their demons upon her, the industry’s support waned in favor of the next, more wholesome, marketable black woman. Whitney Houston was presented as a caricature, much in the same way that Michael Jackson was. The focus became her weaknesses, her failures and this at a time when media shifted from print and video music channels to the every vigilant internet. While the cause of Whitney Houston’s tragic passing are still unknown, we do know the road that brought us here. As media consumers, so many of us hungrily watched her fall but did we offer her a hand to get back up?
This morning at a press conference in Los Angeles, the nominees for the 9th Annual Latin GRAMMY® Awards were announced.
The award show is scheduled to take place on Nov.13 at the Toyota Center in Houston, and will be broadcast live on the Univision Network from 8 – 11 p.m. ET/PT (7 p.m. Central). (VivirLatino hasn’t made a decision if we will go this year as being locked in a basement with Univision peeps physically jumping in front of you so you can’t take pics/video doesn’t seem worth the expense).
Café Tacvba leads the nominations with six; Juanes and Gustavo Santaolalla garnered five nods each; Andrés Calamaro, Kany García and Julieta Venegas each received four nominations; 2008 Latin Recording Academy Person of the Year Gloria Estefan, Victor Manuelle, Soraya Moraes, Ximena Sariñana, and Joan Sebastian are among those who earned three nods apiece. And a contingent of long-established artists and emerging music makers — including Pepe Aguilar, Maria Bethânia, Andrea Bocelli, Tego Calderón, Daddy Yankee, Plácido Domingo, Jose Feliciano, Vicente Fernández, Flex, Gilberto Gil, Alejandra Guzmán, Los Tigres Del Norte, Gian Marco, Manu Chao, Sergio Mendes, Molotov, Ednita Nazario, Laura Pausini, Maria Rita, Olga Tañón, Tito El Bambino, Caetano Veloso, and Wisin y Yandel — each earned nominations.
I was really impressed with Alejandra Alberti at the Jet nightclub inside the Mirage last night, having never heard her before. She was an incredible live performer and her family was so cute, cheering the Mexi-Cubana from the sidelines. She’s nominated tonight for Best New Artist. Good luck Alejandra!
As soon as I got off the plane at Las Vegas Mccarran Airport, I ran over to the Mandalay Bay to pick up my press credentials. The beautiful hotel was filled with fans lining up to see their favorite Latin artists in town for tonight’s Latin Grammy Awards. From there I took a quick walk through the South Strip hotels, to check into my own. Maybe because it was a weeknight, but the strip wasn’t as crowded as I expected it to be. After a quick costume change, it was off to the BMI official pre-party. More on that later. For now check out some strip pictures after the jump.
sorry for the late posting. I’ve been traveling since early this morning . Destination : Vegas Baby! The first leg of my Northwest Airline flight was lovely. Now I have a few hours to kill in Detriot between flights.
I’ll likely be stopping at the Jose Cuervo Tequileria (pictured). What you can’t see is a big sign inside that says:
Calle 13 wone three Latin Grammy Awards last year, and VL was there. This year VL will be there again to see if they win any of four nominations Residente o Visitante: Album of the Year – Best Urban Music Album – Best Urban Song (“Pal Norte”) and Best Music Video (“Tango del Pecado”). Even they don’t win (they likely will though), the duo will also be performing live in Vegas!
It has been confirmed. VivirLatino (via Maegan la Mala) will be covering the Latin Grammy Awards directly from Las Vegas, where the magic will happen next week on November 8. Actual Latin Grammy coverage will begin when I arrive in sin city, on Wednesday November 7. This is one time where whatever happens in Vegas will not stay in Vegas. It will all be reported to you.